Step Out on Nothing by Byron Pitts

In Step Out on Nothing, Byron Pitts chronicles his astonishing story of overcoming a childhood filled with obstacles to achieve enormous success in life. Throughout his difficult youth he suffered from a debilitating stutter. But Byron was keeping an even more embarrassing secret: He was also functionally illiterate. For a kid from inner –city Baltimore, it was a recipe for failure.

Pitts turned struggle into strength and overcame both of his impediments. Along the way, a few key people “stepped out on nothing” to make a difference for him — from his mother, who worked tirelessly to raise her kids right and delivered ample amounts of tough love, to his college roommate, who helped Byron practice his vocabulary and speech. Pitts even learns from those who didn’t believe in him, like the college professor who labeled him a failure and told him to drop out of college. Through it all, he persevered, following his steadfast passion. After fifteen years in local television, he landed a job as a correspondent for CBS News in 1998 and went on to become an Emmy Award – winning journalist and a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes. Not bad for a kid who couldn’t read.

Change by Design by Tim Brown

The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. In reality, most innovations are borne from rigor and discipline. Breakthrough ideas – whether for a new bicycle, an advertising campaign, a treatment plan for diabetes, or a program aimed at tackling the national obesity epidemic –emerge not by chance, but by studying and embracing the immediate challenges we encounter every day in our offices and homes, laboratories and hospitals, classrooms and conference rooms, and in all the spaces in between. We don’t simply realize solutions; we design them.

In this book Tim Brown, CEO of the celebrated innovation and design firm IDEO, introduces us to design thinking. Design is not just about creating elegant objects or beautifying the world around us. The best designers match necessity to utility, constraint to possibility, and need to demand. These design thinkers rely on rigorous observations of how we use spaces and the objects and services that occupy them; they discover patterns where others see complexity and confusion; they synthesize new ideas from seemingly disparate fragments; and they convert problems into opportunities. Design thinking is a method in which genius, in the end, is not required.

This is not a book by designers for designers; this is a blueprint for creative leaders seeking to infuse design thinking – an approach for creative problem solving – into all facets of their organizations, products, or services to discover new alternatives for business and society as a whole.

5th Annual meeting of the AJCU Conference on Pastoral, Theological and Ministerial Education

Please join us for the 5th Annual meeting of the AJCU Conference on Pastoral, Theological and Ministerial Education held here at Loyola University Maryland.  The conference will begin on April 12, 2012 and run through April 14.  Keynote speaker is John Haughey, SJ, author of Where is Knowing Going: The Horizons of the Knowing Subject.

Click on the poster for more details.

The Two Feet of Love in Action

Please join CCSJ for the Catholic Relief Services Webinar,” Two Feet on the Ground” that describes two distinct, but complementary, ways that we can put love in action: Social Justice and Charitable Works. This model draws from Pope Benedict XVI’s teachings on justice as foundational to social action; the common good; the integral importance of community and relationship; and the virtue of charity which enlivens and motivates our work. Moreover, the Holy Father’s call for a New Evangelization in the third millennium summons forth a responsibility that is consistent with this model of love in action. This webinar will introduce participants to these themes, explore more fully the two feet of love in action and discuss how it can be used to help Catholics engage in work to confront poverty.  For time and location please contact Jean Anne Walsh at x2489.

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr

Is Google Making us Stupid? When Nicholas Carr posed that question , he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us . he also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?

Now Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. He explains how the technologies we use to find, store and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention , promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency , of optimized production and consumption –and now the Net is remaking us in its own image . We are becoming even more adept at scanning and skimming , but we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation and reflection.